Dupont Circle & Farragut North Station Chillers

Advisory Effective: 5/4/17 - 10/31/17

Update June 8, 2017

Metro has received all the necessary permits to begin construction to temporarily restore chilled air service to Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations by the end of this month (June 2017).

Installation of the portable 750-ton cooling tower will require excavating a three-foot-deep trench across Connecticut Ave to run approximately 120-125 feet of pipes from the cooling tower located in the service/delivery lane to the chillers that serve the stations.

Temporary cooling tower

The cooling tower will remain in place through the summer and will be removed at the end of the cooling season.

Permanent repairs are expected to begin once the design process is completed.

Update May 4, 2017

Farragut North and Dupont Circle stations currently have no cooling capacity due to the failure of 40-year-old water lines that run under Connecticut Avenue NW and connect the stations' off-site chiller plant (located 40 feet below the median of Connecticut Ave) to a cooling tower located on the roof of a nearby building.

Since 2015, Metro and its contractors have made multiple attempts to repair the pipes, including identifying and patching individual leaks, followed by a complete relining of the pipes from within. Unfortunately, none of the repair strategies applied to date has been successful.

Currently, an independent engineering firm is reviewing the situation to determine the best course of action on a permanent fix, which may involve excavation of Connecticut Avenue NW to allow for complete replacement of the pipes. While that effort is underway, Metro is working cooperatively with the District of Columbia, Golden Triangle BID, and other stakeholders to install temporary cooling equipment while this complicated permanent fix is advanced.

Based on current project timelines, the temporary cooling capacity could be in place as early as June. We should note that, because these cooling lines run under Connecticut Avenue NW, the project may have an impact on motorists. The independent engineering review will identify solutions and strategies that minimize this impact to the extent possible, and we will continue to work with DDOT, Golden Triangle BID, and other stakeholders throughout the project.

UPDATED: May 5, 2016

Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations are expected to begin the cooling season (May 15) operating without chilled air service due to a leak in a cooling line off Metro property.

Both Dupont Circle and Farragut North stations are cooled by a common chiller plant that is located in the median of Connecticut Avenue opposite the Farragut North L Street entrance. Delivery of chilled air to the stations has been disrupted by a leak in the underground line that runs between the chiller plant and the stations.

UPDATE 5/5/16: Permits have been requested to allow Metro's contractors to begin excavation of Connecticut Avenue to inspect and repair a leak in the underground line. If all goes as planned, chiller service is expected to be restored to Dupont Circle & Farragut North by July 1, 2016.

UPDATE 8/14/15: Unfortunately, multiple attempts to locate and repair the leak(s) have proven unsuccessful along the 40 year old pipe that provides water to the chiller plant to these two stations. Metro's contractor believes that there may be multiple leaks on the line that are causing it to fail under water-pressure testing. As a result, the chillers are expected to out of service for the remainder of the 2015 season. Metro and its contractor are currently working on solutions to address this aged pipe with the goal of restoring chiller service for the 2016 season.

Metro's underground stations are cooled by chilled water air handling units, or "chillers," not air conditioning. The chiller system is designed to reduce temperatures in stations for rider comfort. The hotter the outside air, the less the chillers will be able to do. By design, if the ambient outdoor temperature is 91 degrees, the chillers will bring the station temperature to 85 degrees.

We have ensured the tunnel and station ventilation fans are active at the two stations to provide passenger comfort; however, even with these efforts, the stations will seem warmer than usual until repairs are completed. We apologize for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

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